Bakery Boys in Quebec Expose an Embezzlement Case

An investigation took place of embezzlement in Quebec City in 1877. The culprit? An employee of a photography shop on St. Joseph Street in the St Roch District, owned by Damase DeBeaumont. The employee was caught swindling a dollar (likely more before his apprehension).

His scam? Steal the deposit, or find the purchaser, give him his photo and pocket the money. But he didn’t think things through very well, he was caught and could offer not credible explanation.

The Bakery Boys was a group of five bakers from Hetherington’s Bakery that was located on St Joseph’s Street decided to meet up and get a photograph taken.

The bakers were Thomas Norton, James Silk, James Hunter, Lawrence Hunter, William Spiers and John Hickey. They arrived at DeBeaumont’s handed over the one dollar deposit to the photgappher with the agreement that the remaining amount of three dollars would be paid in exchange for eight copies of the photograph.

After a couple weeks had passed one of the bakers, Thomas went to get their photos and Mr. DeBeaumont would not hand them over until the full amount was paid, which he claimed was 4$. Thomas explained that the deposit had been given but it seems Mr. DeBeaumont had not been informed. Thomas set off to find the Mr. Ellisson their photographer. Ellisson when found denied all.

Thomas returned to DeBeaumont and after much conversation the truth was out. Mr. Ellisson had been quietly pocketing money from Mr DeBeaumont’s business.

It all came to a head in May 1877 when some of the Bakers and other customers were subpoenaed to give depositions.

Thomas Norton subpoenaed in the case against Thomas Ellisson

This is just one instance of the rich history that is found in the records at BAnQ under Inventory of documents of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace and of the Court of Sessions of the peace, judicial district of Quebec, especially 1800-1927 

Throwing it out there, if any descendants of James Silk, James Hunter, Lawrence Hunter, William Spiers or John Hickey happen to be sitting on a photo of the Bakery Boys shoot me a message, Thomas Norton is my relative.

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